H.E Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, opening the 8th International Microinsurance Conference.
Nearly 600 participants from around 60 countries attended the conference.

8th International Microinsurance Conference 2012

Number of insured low-income people in Africa in excess of 44 million.

“Trust arrives on foot, but leaves on horseback”, said Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development in her keynote speech at the opening of the 8th International Microinsurance Conference. The event took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from 6–8 November 2012.




The 8th International Microinsurance Conference, which took place in Africa for the third time, brought together a record number of 590 participants from around 60 countries to discuss the challenges and opportunities in microinsurance. “There is need for us as policy makers working in concert with other stakeholders, such as the organisations represented at this conference, to explore other means of serving low-income people”, said Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, in his opening speech. “Special efforts are required to reach the poor. This indeed is what this conference is all about”, concluded the Vice President.

The agenda addressed a huge variety of topics that are fundamental to providing good-value insurance products to low-income populations. Topics such as the status of microinsurance in Tanzania, how to provide agricultural insurance to low-income farmers and case studies on successes and failures were among the many issues discussed in the 28 different sessions during the three-day event. Furthermore, the Actuarial Training Modules for Microinsurance were launched at the conference by the UK Actuarial Profession and the International Actuarial Association. This is an education module intended to illustrate key pricing steps for a simple life microinsurance product.

Microinsurance in Africa is growing fast but availability remains low
According to the study The landscape of Microinsurance in Africa 2012 published at the 8th International Microinsurance Conference by the Munich Re Foundation and Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A), the number of insured low-income people has increased by 200% from 2008 to 2011 with a number of insured low-income people in Africa in excess of 44 million. “This is a tremendous achievement. The expansion of quality insurance services to large numbers of low-income households can have a significant role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals”, said the ILO’s Craig Churchill, Chair of the Microinsurance Network.

One striking issue highlighted in the study is that the vast majority of Africans with insurance coverage – that is to say, close to 40 million people – are covered by life insurance. Other insurance products related to health, agriculture, accident and property are not as developed on the continent, which is inconsistent with the demand, especially for health insurance. “These findings should drive the relevant stakeholders to take steps to address this shortcoming”, said Stefan Nalletamby, Partnership Coordinator of MFW4A.

Furthermore, in geographical terms, the study noted that over 38 million of the insured people are concentrated in Southern and Eastern Africa, with South Africa alone covering 27 million. In Tanzania, the microinsurance sector is developing at a steady pace.

The Tanzanian context
During the conference, TIRA presented the results of a Diagnostic Study of Tanzania which will act as the basis for the development of a national strategy to increase outreach and accessibility of microinsurance. “With 3.3 million people covered by microinsurance, which represents a growth of around 7% in three years, the Tanzanian regulatory authority has been focusing its efforts on raising the awareness and benefits of insurance amongst the poor, as well as working together with Access to Insurance Initiative (A2II) to stimulate the market through new regulations”, said Israel Kamuzora, the Insurance Commissioner of Tanzania.

Trust is key
Princess Máxima’s remark in her keynote speech alluded to the fact that the poor often do not trust insurers. Therefore, adequate consumer protection plays an important role to ensure the sustainable development of insurance markets. Dirk Reinhard, Vice Chairman of Munich Re Foundation and Chairman of the Conference Steering Committee, said: “The fact that 22 national regulatory authorities from countries around the world as well as the presence of the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Finance Minister underlined the high interest from governments. This again demonstrates how the benefits of microinsurance on low-income populations are being recognised at the highest levels.”

The next steps
In her closing remarks, Princess Máxima called for more knowledge,
practical analysis and research, which according to her will be the basis on which we can make a difference going forward. “Partner and coordinate even more widely – and join national financial inclusion processes. This will help to achieve real benefit and protection for clients against risks”, said the Princess.

With the 9th International Microinsurance Conference taking place in Indonesia, the Munich Re Foundation and the Microinsurance Network will again be an important part of not only national but also financial inclusion processes worldwide. The 2013 event will address specific issues not only in the Asian context but also beyond, such as Takaful insurance and how to better manage the risks of the poor facing natural disasters. Furthermore, in 2013 the Munich Re Foundation together with partners will be aiming at additional local events focusing on West Africa and the MENA region specifically.

 Video abouth the 8th International Microinsurance Conference (Copyright: Deutsche Welle)




About the 8th International Microinsurance Conference

 

The 8th International Microinsurance Conference was hosted by the Munich Re Foundation and the Microinsurance Network, with the support of the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA), the Association of Tanzanian Insurers (ATI), GIZ/BMZ, Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A), the African Insurance Organization (AIO), the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (iRA), Uganda Insurers Association (UIA), Georgia State University’s Center for the Economic Analysis of Risk (CEAR), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), FinMark Trust, and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
 

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8th International Microinsurance Conference

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